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Hopkins: We will cut emissions by half

Johns Hopkins University yesterday announced one of the more ambitious sustainability initiatives in higher education, with a goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than half by 2025.

Hopkins says it will invest $73 million in conservation and efficiency measures estimated to cut emissions by 81,000 metric tons a year, which would take them a little over halfway to their goal. That goal is to cut 141,000 metric tons from the 276,000 tons in annual emissions the university projects it would generate 15 years hence.

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Dozens of colleges in the region have launched sustainability initiatives, driven partly by an impulse to practice what university researchers preach about the perils of global warming.

The Hopkins plan relies somewhat on technologies that don't yet exist: the university says it hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by "adopting new technologies that emerge between now and 2025," and also by "motivating members of the university community" to save energy on their own.

The carbon-cutting strategy includes "a building-by-building, campus-by-campus list of HVAC, electrical, and lab equipment improvements; lighting fixture and control upgrades; measures to make buildings more airtight; window replacements; installations of solar power panels and solar hot water equipment; water conservation measures; and other steps," the university said in a release.

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The plan targets laboratory research buildings in particular; often referred to as "heavy breathers," these buildings consume significant amounts of air that must be heated or cooled to satisfy temperature and humidity requirements.

Additional significant savings in carbon dioxide emission - 32,000 metric tons a year - and in energy costs will come from cogeneration plants being built on both the university's East Baltimore and Homewood campuses. The plants will burn relatively clean natural gas to produce both electricity and steam heat more cheaply and efficiently.

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By Daniel de Vise  |  March 12, 2010; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Administration , Public policy , Research  | Tags: Johns Hopkins University, research, sustainability  
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Comments

Great - they will have zero emissions when no one can afford to attend. Spend the money on making a Hopkins education affordable first.

Posted by: leuchars | March 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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